A sad thing happened online this weekend. For who knows what reason, good old George W. Bush published a cheesy, dramatic, heavily produced Coronavirus message.
He speaks over a slow-fade transition slideshow of photographs, beginning in black and white. Dubya states that we are in a unique time, when the elderly and vulnerable are particularly vulnerable (I suppose he’s contrasting this to all the years before, when the elderly and vulnerable were nearly invincible).
We see an old man, sitting alone in a dim room. Somber music plays, like we’re viewing a body-strewn battlefield at the end of a war movie or something, rather than just, an old guy being, you know, old.
“Officials at every level are setting out the requirements of public health that protect us all,” Bush reassures us.
The slide-show switches to color, as he lays out a cute message of hope and friendliness. Platitudes abound, while images of helpful people doing helpful stuff are shown.
It’s a fluffy message and kind of nice to hear, except the good man makes a massive and grave concession that ruins all of it. He implies that the pandemic-driven restrictions we are now subjected to by our government (and fellow-citizens) are necessary and serve a greater good. He focuses on blind cooperation, rather than honest questioning.
His message turns a deaf ear to the widespread and credible debate surrounding all of this. I think he’s extending an olive branch to “the left”, by saying, “you have a good point, and the pandemic is as bad as you’ve been saying all along, so let’s work together to fight it” with the rationale that this concession will unite us, thus enabling healing and recovery.
He’s wrong. We all learned in “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” that compromising doesn’t work in the worlds of policy, government, or talking mice. Accepting the current state of affairs is not a responsible thing to do, and will lead (and has led) to incalculable injustices. Those who have brought us to the police-state hell we are in will not be satisfied if we declare stay-at-home orders, closed businesses, locked churches, and a disappearing healthcare system to be justified and rational. They’ll immediately demand some other nonsense policy to make things even worse.
That’s the obvious pattern we are seeing. After most conceded that a healthy quarantine was prudent (on a faulty pretense that it would somehow help give the healthcare system a chance to prepare for a mis-forecasted phantom tidal wave of cases), it was next demanded that the quarantine last until the teeny-weeny wave peaked. After that was accepted, it’s now demanded to be extended until a vaccine is widely available, regardless of the healthcare system’s capacity.
Rather than point out the proof that we don’t need to live in fear, W. endorses the panic (as if his endorsement even matters), all in the name of bringing people together. Such concessions will not encourage peace, harmony, and agreement. If anything, acquiescing to one set of irrational demands serves only to encourage a new, urgent and angry demand for some other type of oppressive policy.
“No nation can negotiate with terrorists,” W once famously said. Well I say, no nation should negotiate with Karens.
In conclusion, I love you, George W., but you’re a bit of a sap, and this weekend, you did a bad thing, and did it with a cheesy flare, and it’s because you are weak, and no longer a voice of leadership. I don’t think we should all work together to ruin our future.